During the last year and a half maintenance was carried out on eleven winch rooms spread out in various localities in Malta. This was the first time that restructuring was carried out on the winch rooms that are spread across the ports around Malta and include five winch rooms in Marsaxlokk, Birżebbuġa, Żurrieq, San Pawl il-Baħar, San Điljan, Kalkara and Marsaskala.
The work done in these winch rooms includes maintenance on the winch and wire ropes as well as substantial changes in the infrastructure, as they were painted inside and out, new tiles were laid and changes were made to the light and water systems.
This work continues to clearly show the commitment of the Government to always be close to the fisherman and to give the necessary support and help in a time of various challenges that this sector is going through. These works were carried out with an investment of €113,000 through national funds.
The Government is committed to continuing to improve the infrastructure in Maltese ports through such investments. The winch rooms are essential for fishermen, as they offer indispensable support while they are using them, especially to those fishermen who do not have a trailer for their vessels. The winches make it possible for the fishermen to be able to lift the vessels ashore for maintenance or otherwise when the storm is coming.
For this purpose, in the coming months two new winch rooms will be added, in Msida and in San Tumas beach in Marsaskala. Such investments have a direct impact on the fishing industry. In addition to improving the infrastructure in the ports, the fishermen will be given help so that logistically they can carry out their work in a more competitive and sustainable way.
Parliamentary Secretary Alicia Bugeja Said explained how, “These winch rooms are used free of charge by fishermen registered with the department, both those fishermen who work on a full time basis, those part time and also recreational ones.” She concluded by saying, “The Government is committed to supporting fishermen in every sphere of the sector”.
The management of the winch rooms is in the hands of the winch room attendants who are hired by the department itself. Often these are fishermen themselves who coordinate among themselves so that the winch can be turned on and used as needed. It is worth mentioning that each vessel is towed at least once a year up to a maximum of 4 times. This is a clear reflection of how necessary this maintenance was, as the fishermen make use of the winch rooms frequently.